Odes

Horace

Horace, creator; Conington, John, 1825-1869, editor

  • Here shall you quaff beneath the shade
  • Sweet Lesbian draughts that injure none,
  • Nor fear lest Mars the realm invade
  • Of Semele's Thyonian son,
  • Lest Cyrus on a foe too weak
  • Lay the rude hand of wild excess,
  • His passion on your chaplet wreak,
  • Or spoil your undeserving dress.
  • Varus, are your trees in planting? put in none before the vine,
  • In the rich domain of Tibur, by the walls of Catilus;
  • There's a power above that hampers all that sober brains design,
  • And the troubles man is heir to thus are quell'd, and only thus.
  • Who can talk of want or warfare when the wine is in his head,
  • Not of thee, good father Bacchus, and of Venus fair and bright?
  • But should any dream of licence, there's a lesson may be read,
  • How 'twas wine that drove the Centaurs with the Lapithae to fight.
  • And the Thracians too may warn us; truth and falsehood, good and ill,
  • How they mix them, when the wine-god's hand is heavy on them laid!
  • Never, never, gracious Bacchus, may I move thee 'gainst thy will,
  • Or uncover what is hidden in the verdure of thy shade!